Fan Conventions

  • OTW Fannews: Fangirls in the Wild

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 28 July 2015 - 4:00pm
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    • San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) season means it's time for the media to once again declare that fangirls exist. The New York Times thought this was the year for fangirls. "A bunch of oddballs — nerds and fanboys, toy collectors and cosplayers, gamers and fantasists — invaded the mainstream and planted themselves at the vital center of the entertainment industry...Lately, though, something else has been happening, too — a shift in the ecosystem of fandom symbolized not only by Sadness but also by another new addition to the Comic-Con costume repertory: Imperator Furiosa, the crew-cut, one-armed avenger played by Charlize Theron in 'Mad Max: Fury Road.' Furiosa’s presence amid the Disney princesses and Manga pixies is an especially potent sign of the feminism that is a big part of this event."
    • A more thoughtful article at Refinery29 points out that SDCC is hardly a bastion of feminism yet. "What we’re calling fangirls here covers an admittedly wide and amorphous group of women. They’re cosplayers, comic book collectors, sci-fi nerds, steampunk enthusiasts, booth babes, Lolitas, and more....And they are vocal: When the proportion of female writers and artists for DC Comics plunged from 12 percent to 1 percent in 2011, female fans started a petition for DC to hire more women. DC Comics responded by promising to try. Female fans from a group called the Carol Corps. were also instrumental last year in pushing Marvel to announce plans for a movie about Captain Marvel, a super-powered woman. In other words, fangirls are engaged and numerous, making up a significant portion of the audience that shells out hard-earned dollars to support their pop culture passions. And yet, despite that, this group remains the third estate of the comics / fantasy world."
    • The Chicago Tribune focused more on numbers. "'But when you start to break it down according to how fans identify themselves, we find that no individual fandom is that even,' continues Salkowitz, who will discuss his findings Sunday afternoon at Comic-Con. 'Comics, videogaming, hobby gaming and toy collecting are majority male, usually in the 55- to 60-percent range. Manga/anime, science fiction/fantasy and media fandom are 60- to 65-percent female. Because today's big conventions appeal to fans of everything, audiences coming to shows are pretty much gender-balanced. However, it's still the case that, say, 'comics' fandom tends more toward older guys, whereas manga appeals more to younger women.'"
    • As Neon Tommy pointed out, having female creators representing female fans in the media is a needed step forward. "As for today’s devoted fangirls — who have often been excluded from the full participatory side of media — Jarett says the 'Fan Girl' film's message is one of female empowerment. 'Telulah is a filmmaker,' he says. 'And being a fan of something can also be someone’s art — it’s a form of creative expression.'"

    How many times have you been discovered within fandom? Write about your history in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Guest Post: Donna Davies

    By Janita Burgess on lundi, 27 July 2015 - 4:27pm
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    From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

    Today's post is an interview with Donna Davies, the writer, director and producer behind the documentary Fanarchy. The documentary explores how new affordable technology is allowing fans to threaten the Hollywood system by producing the films they want to see in quantities Hollywood can't keep up with. It premiered July 9 on Epix Drive-in.

    What inspired you to make this documentary?

    I made a documentary about the Hollywood film industry that featured some pretty high profile directors and discovered that several had made their own homemade tributes to the stories and movies they loved when they were kids. I was intrigued by the fact that these individuals were all inspired by the TV shows, books and movies they loved as children and were really still fans at heart. I wanted to look deeper into the idea of fandom as artistic inspiration.

    What is your personal history with fandom?

    I'm a fan of the old Hammer horror films, like The Curse of the Werewolf, Horror of Dracula, etc. I'm also a huge fan of Dylan Thomas. Not really a fan of superhero movies, although I did love the Super Chicken and Underdog cartoon superheroes.

    What was the biggest revelation when you were making Fanarchy?

    I was amazed by how powerful fans have become. As a result on fans and their desire to be part of the world they love, the entertainment industry has completely changed. It's become less passive than in has been in the past. It's become more of a participatory sport.

    What has the reaction to Fanarchy been, and what surprised you about that?

    I had imagined the San Diego Comic-Con crowd would relate to the film, but I didn't expect to have so much interest from the those who aren't involved in the fan community. The idea of ownership of story and copyright is clearly more relevant now then ever before in history.

    How do the philosophies of the OTW (such as that fanworks are fair use, female spaces and representations should be encouraged) fit with what you found?

    Early on in the process of making the film, I interviewed [OTW Legal Staffer] Rebecca Tushnet. Rebecca provided insight into the legal implications from the fan's perspective. I also interviewed media expert Jeff Ulin, a lawyer who had worked for Disney and Lucasfilm, where he managed worldwide distribution including the franchise sales for Star Wars. These two experts gave me insight into of the vast divide that often exists between the fans and the copyright holders.

    I was worried at the start of making the film, because, although I had dealt with fair use in previous docs, I had never pushed things this far before. Although the fan films featured in the doc have been available on the Internet, until now they haven't been broadcast on traditional television. Here's hoping I don't end up in jail.

    In all seriousness, I think we're making huge progress in the area of fair use in documentary film. I can do things today that were not possible just 10 years ago.

    As for female spaces, while fan culture is absolutely rooted in female culture, I think that has primarily been the "story" side. The "film" production side has traditionally tended to bias towards males. However with accessible distribution methods and affordable technology that is changing.

    My film is really looking primarily at fan films and TV shows, not literature or vidding. I'm totally fascinated by that side though, so maybe that's my next film!

    The main character of Fanarchy is Maya Glick, a black woman from Texas who, through the making of my doc ends up achieving her goal of making her own fan-film tribute to [Marvel character] Storm. I also feature several other female characters, including Brea Grant who, after much success acting in Hollywood films and TV shows like Friday Night Lights, Heroes, and Dexter, went on to write her own comic book, then engaged with her fans to eventually make her own feature film.

    There's also Stephanie Thorpe, who, along with her producing partner Paula Rhodes, made a loving fan tribute to their favourite childhood comic book series, Elfquest, and then used that fan film to convince the copyright holders to give them the rights to make the Elfquest TV series.

    In addition to Rebecca Tushnet, the film features other female experts such as film critic Maitland McDonagh and journalist Heidi Honeycutt.

    What are your thoughts on the monetization of fanworks?

    This is a tricky area to navigate. Some fans just want to play with the stories and characters they love. I believe that these fans should be able to do so freely. And I think that this has become more and more acceptable.

    Copyright holders are beginning to understand that these fans are not harming their franchises. It's very difficult to prove that these homages take away money from the original works. However fans still have to be careful. They have to walk a very fine line between freedom to express their fandom and directly profiting monetarily from that fandom. The fans who want to use their fan works to build a fan base can easily do so. Doing a fan film about Batman enables the filmmaker of that fan film to reach out to other fans, and gain an audience for an original film that they can legally profit from.

    Things are evolving very quickly. Some fan films are becoming so professional it is impossible to tell them from the original. Fan filmmakers who are doing these super pro films are hoping that they can eventually make a deal with original copyright holders to share in any profits that could be made from the fan works.

    They are always going to be fans who just want to do this for themselves as a labour of love on the one hand and on the other hand those who want to use the fan work as a calling card to break into a career.

    Finally, how can fans who've missed the previous airings watch Fanarchy?

    The film will be broadcast on Epix Drive-in throughout the summer. It will be available on Netflix in October.

    We're also doing the film festival circuit now and broadcasting in Canada in the fall.

  • OTW Legal Staffers Participate in SDCC "Fandom is My Fandom" Panel

    By Janita Burgess on vendredi, 24 July 2015 - 5:18pm
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    SDCC Fandom is My Fandom panelists.

    At this year's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt participated in the Fandom is My Fandom panel, moderated by Legal's Heidi Tandy.

    Betsy and Heidi were joined by Amanda Brennan (Community and Content Tumblarian), Flourish Klink (Chaotic Good, Inc., Transmedia Producer for East Los High), Meredith Levine (Fanthropologist, ZEFR), Aron Levitz (Head of Business Development, WattPad), Elizabeth Minkel (Writer, New Statesman/The Millions), and Missyjack (aka Jules) (Founder, Supernatural Wiki).

    A video of the panel is now available for public viewing.

    The panel discussed how fandom has changed now that fanworks are in the spotlight on social media and mainstream news and are being acknowledged by the companies that create and distribute source material. The panelists reflected on how advances in technology and improved understanding in copyright law, particularly in the area of fair use, have increased fandom's public reach and placed fanworks into the public consciousness.

    Panelists noted that fandom is even inspiring developments in law: in 2013, Holmesian scholar Leslie Klinger and author Laurie R. King received a "cease and desist" letter from the Conan Doyle Estate, ahead of the publication of their second anthology of stories inspired by the Holmes canon. Klinger successfully sued the Estate, claiming the copyright had expired on all of the story elements included in the anthology. Because of Klinger, all but the last ten Holmes stories are now officially part of the public domain, allowing fanfiction authors to publish and even sell works based on the majority of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.

    Many fanwork creators prefer to stay non-commercial, though, whether to be better able connect directly with their audience; to use fanworks as a "training ground" for skills that can be used professionally; to avoid legal risks; or simply because they prefer to participate in a gift and generosity based economy and community.

    The panel pointed out that the companies behind commercial works are increasingly interested in fandom and fanworks, sometimes even offering fanwork contests. Because of this, many fanwork creators no longer feel the need to hide their work from "the powers that be" and can enjoy participating in these contests, provided that they are able choose what and when to share. Companies may use these contests both as a way to reward fans for their enthusiasm and as an additional source of metrics to gauge consumer engagement. The panel suggested that, while fans often appreciate nods to fanwork in their favourite source material (e.g. Supernatural meta episodes, characters referring to tumblr, etc.), they also want space to engage in fandoms without needing acknowledgement or approval from creators of source material.

    The increased visibility of fanwork has allowed mainstream creators to acknowledge their fannish pasts. As fanwork becomes better understood by people outside of the fandom community, we hope that stigma will decrease, and that the myriad forms of fannish engagement and creation will be met with the appreciation and respect they have always deserved.

  • OTW Fannews: Altering Reality

    By Janita Burgess on dimanche, 19 July 2015 - 5:32pm
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    OTWFannews Banner Altering Reality

    • Geek and Sundry suggested that Gaming Led Us All to Genderbending. "There’s a great deal of imagination and creativity behind genderbending in fandom, fan art, and cosplay, and it can help us identify more strongly with those characters we love. But where does it really come from? Where did we even get the idea to imagine our favorite fandoms with this random character change? While the interest in genderbending can come from a lot of different places, I think gaming had a huge part of making it more widely understood."
    • Eventbrite's latest fandom study examined con attendance and cosplay. "Con-goers are split almost half and half by gender, with males representing 48.7% of fans, and women making up 48.9%. Taking a closer look at these nearly-equal slices of the population pie, we see that single fans are divided by gender almost evenly as well: 50% of singles are male, and 47% are female. But while male singles head to cons alone (29%), the single ladies travel in groups (18%), and go for the cosplay."
    • Malaysian Digest reported that 1 of every 6 K-pop fans is male, but they're often quiet about it. "'I was showing to a friend a music video of Super Junior’s ‘Sorry Sorry’. I was expecting comments like 'wow cool dance moves' or 'it’s catchy', but NO, instead he said, 'why do you listen to this. It’s not like you understand a single thing that they say. Plus they look kinda gay. Are you gay?'...What I don’t understand is why does liking another music genre has got to do with sexual orientation?"
    • Attack of the Fanboy discussed the battling petitions related to the development of Metroid Prime: Federation Force and linked to a video highlighting the fan rage being expressed. "In just under four minutes, Mega64 skewers the mentality behind the Federation Force petition by taking it to an extreme that incorporates elements of Anonymous threat videos with a terrorist-lite militia. It looks like a hard sell on paper, but the over the top nature of every passing second works well on video."
  • Events Calendar for July 2015

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on mercredi, 1 July 2015 - 1:53pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of July! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • San Diego Comic-Con. You already know if this is something you want to--and can--attend! From the Fanlore entry: "Over the years, Comic-Con has become one of the primary venues for canon creators and stars to announce, create interest for, and sneak preview parts of their 'genre' (not only comics and superhero-related but also science fiction and fantasy) films and television shows." Comic-Con is July 9-12 in San Diego, California.

      This year, OTW Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Legal staffer Heidi Tandy will be on the "Fandom Is My Fandom" panel on Thursday, 5-6 p.m., in Room 14A.

    • RainbowCon is a four-day QUILTBAG (Queer-Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual, Asexual, and Gay) event for anyone and everyone (you do not have identify within the QUILTBAG spectrum to attend or contribute). It's an exciting event that's centered around QUILTBAG media. This includes fiction, fanfiction, nonfiction, comics/webcomics, television, movies, stage, music, and anything else involving QUILTBAG media. It's July 16-19 in Tampa, Florida.
    • Anime Evolution is Vancouver's premier event celebrating Japanese culture, anime, manga, gaming, and every kind of related fandom. The event, July 17-19, features special guests, including Janet Varney and Sarah Williams, interactive panels, live cultural demonstrations, video and tabletop gaming rooms, video rooms, contests, workshops, dances, and more.
    • Artist claims are July 20 for the Het Big Bang challenge. Contributions from any fandom and any het pairing are welcome. Big Bang stories must be at least 25,000 words, and Little Bang contributions, 10,000. Final art and fics are due August 26, with posting on August 31.
    • Fandom and Religion: An International, Inter-disciplinary Conference, held at the University of Leicester, England, July 28-30, will explore interactions between religion and popular culture. How does fandom work? What is happening to fans as they express their enthusiasms and allegiances? Has fandom replaced or become a form of religion? What can the study of religion learn from explorations of fandom? This event will provide an opportunity for participants to explore these and other questions about popular culture and religion in plenary, panel, and short paper sessions.
    • Billed as "the friendliest little convention in New England" and a "diverse collection of geeks," the ninth annual Pi-Con welcomes numerous fandoms: books, movies, gaming, webcomics and print comics, tech and gadgetry, costuming, anime, and music. Highlights include a Writer's Workshop on Friday and expanded filk programming, including a dedicated filk room. The event is July 31-August 2 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The Comic Electric: A Digital Comics Symposium will be held at The University of Hertfordshire on October 14. Participants are sought to present papers across a wide range of topics that relate to comics scholarship and digital media. Topics may include webcomics, widening readerships, minority voices, and fan cultures, among others. Submit abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers of 20 minutes in length by July 27.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • SDCC 'Fandom Is My Fandom' Panel

    By Janita Burgess on vendredi, 26 June 2015 - 4:58pm
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    Those of you lucky enough to be attending this year's San Diego Comic Con have the opportunity to see OTW Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Legal staffer Heidi Tandy on the 'Fandom Is My Fandom' panel on Thursday, 9 July at 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Room 14A.

    Heidi will be moderating. Panelists include:

    What's the panel about?

    '“Fandom” isn’t just one thing these days, and it never was. But now that fans - and their creativity, content and consumption - are something for media companies to understand, PR people to focus on, social media to thrive on and news organizations to report about - what happens to the “traditional” fan community and the fanboys and fangirls that create the culture and content? Are follow-on works like fanart, vids and fanfic to be mocked, tracked, supported, enjoyed within an organic community, or considered a stepping-stone to a creative career? What if the answer is “sometimes one, sometimes all, and sometimes something else”? We’ll look for answers and information from deep inside popular fandoms, the media companies that work with them and the sites that host them.'

    For more information, visit the SDCC webpage!

  • Events Calendar for June 2015

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on lundi, 1 June 2015 - 1:26pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of June! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Signups began May 15 for the Kurt Hummel Big Bang 2015, focusing on the Glee character. Finished fics must be at least 15,000 words long, and any ships and fic types are welcome as long as warnings and ratings are indicated. Author signups close June 15, and artist claims open August 26, with posting beginning October 20.
    • Signups are going on now for the 2015 Wincest Big Bang, which celebrates "the epic love of Sam and Dean" from Supernatural. Written works should be at least 10,000 words (for the "big bang" category) and 5,000 (for the "mini-bang"). Artists, authors, betas, cheerleaders, and pinch hitters are all needed. Author signups close on June 27, and artist claims begin July 19. Participants must be at least age 18.
    • The New York Tolkien Conference is a free conference for fans and scholars of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Mythlore editor Janet Brennan Croft and John DiBartolo of the Lonely Mountain Band are the guests of honor, and there will be paper presentations on a variety of topics related to Tolkien. The event is June 13 in New York City. While admission is free, registration is required for campus security to allow access to the conference facilities.
    • Capital Con DC, June 19-21 in Washington, D.C., is a "convention that wants to promote and foster growth in the science fiction and fantasy genres." Sci-Fi Photo Guys will be on hand with a green screen, custom backgrounds, and digital editing to let guests pose for their dream photos. Special events include a formal ball Friday evening and "crossplay pageant." Guests include actor Doug Jones (Hellboy), author Sherrilyn Kenyon, and illustrator Leanne Hannah.
    • Mississippi Comic Con is a two-day event that will bring together a diverse list of guests, vendors, artists, and fan groups, in an affordable, family-friendly environment. Guests include costumer Kristen Hughey, actor and comedian David Della Rocco (Boondock Saints), James C. Leary (Clem from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and anime voice actor Trina Nishimura. The con is June 27-28 in Jackson, Mississippi, United States.
    • For three years the Fan Studies Network has provided an enthusiastic and welcoming space for academics in all stages of study interested in fans and fandom to connect, share resources, and develop their research ideas. Following the success of their first two conferences, they're announcing a third annual event: FSN2015: The Fan Studies Network Conference, taking place June 27-28 in Norwich, England, United Kingdom. Participate in the discussion on Twitter by following hashtag #FSN2015.

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The UK publisher Intellect is now seeking chapters for the next edition in its Fan Phenomena book series. Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga will be an edited collection of essays about the forces that contributed to the global popularity and commercial success of the books, films, and graphic novels of The Twilight Saga. Chapters will explore Twilight’s unique appeal to fans as well as its impact on people, literature, film, music, television, and social issues. Abstracts and author biographies are due June 15; final papers, October 1.
    • Exploring Imaginary Worlds: Audiences, Fan Cultures and Geographies of the Imagination, a special section of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, invites contributions that focus on the various ways in which audiences explore, interpret, and respond to imaginary worlds. They are interested in articles that engage with audiences as opposed to speculative accounts or textual analyses--research that maps specific communities and their rich relationships with world-building. The deadline for abstracts of 300 words is June 26, and notifications of acceptance will be sent out the week of July 6.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • Events Calendar for May 2015

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on jeudi, 30 April 2015 - 12:55pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of May! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • May the Fourth (also known as May 4 on the calendar and Star Wars Day in fandom) has become an unofficial Star Wars holiday. As StarWars.com explains, "Say 'May the 4th Be With You' out loud and you’ll hear the pun that Star Wars fans worldwide have turned into a rallying cry to proclaim their love of the saga. It’s the worldwide day to say 'May the Force be with you' to all, and celebrate the beloved Star Wars story that binds our galaxy together." Learn more about Star Wars Day on Fanlore!
    • The Queers and Comics Conference, May 7-8 in New York City, brings LGBTQ cartoonists, comics writers, and artists together with scholars and fans in order to document the history and significance of queer comics. It spotlights the veterans of LGBTQ cartooning in North America and internationally, with forums for working artists to share their knowledge and to discuss how to navigate the comics industry.
    • Miracle Day 2 is a three-day convention celebrating Torchwood. May 8-10 in London, this event will enable fans to meet a selection of the cast and crew of this series as well as create a fantastic social environment for fans of the show. Special guests include John Barrowman, Eve Myles, James Marsters, Naoko Mori, Gareth David Lloyd, Kai Owen, and Owen Teale.
    • FedCon is four full days of "star guests, autographs, photo sessions, lectures, workshops, like-minded people, fans in costumes, activities, parties, merchandise, four days filled with fun." Guests include Sean Young, James Callis (Battlestar Galactica), Tony Todd, and more. The convention is May 21-24 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
    • Billed as "Utah's longest-running general science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention," CONduit features a variety of panels, dealers' room, art show, and numerous contests (including costuming, PSA/trailer, short story, poetry, and "Binary VS. Ewokese"). Guests of honor include Jane Lindskold, author of the Athanor series and Firekeeper Saga; Larry "Dr. Trek" Nemecek; and artist Jessica Douglas. The event is May 22-24 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    • It's the 10-year anniversary of TimeGate, an annual sci-fi convention in Atlanta that focuses on Doctor Who and British media and culture. This year's guests include actors Michelle Gomez and Katy Manning, props maker Nick Robatto, and science advisor Kevin R. Grazier. The con is May 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia.
    • Running since 1977, WisCon bills itself as "the world's leading feminist science fiction convention. WisCon, May 22-25 in Madison, Wisconsin, encourages discussion and debate of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon welcomes writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes as well as their many fans. We have panel discussions, academic presentations, and readings as well as many other uncategorizable events. WisCon is "primarily a book-oriented convention... with an irrepressible sense of humor."
    • Northwest Fan Fest, May 29-31 in Vancouver, British Columbia, is an annual "celebration of fandom" supported by the West Coast Fan Society. Events include both adult and kid costume contests, a special fandom-related screening by Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation, console and tabletop gaming, and a 19-and-over after-hours party. Special guests include director Uwe Boll, animator Tom Cook, and actor Beverley Elliott (Once Upon a Time and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants).
    • Sinpozium is a Sydney slash gathering that's been held eight times previously (2000-2002, 2005, 2011-2014). It is a fan-run, not-for-profit, weekend-long party. Sinpozium 2015 will be held on May 30-31.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • OTW Fannews: For the Benjamins

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 28 April 2015 - 4:50pm
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    Banner by Sidhrat of U.S. $100 bills floating in the air with the title 'OTW Fannews: For the Benjamins'

    • PC Gamer discussed a Half-Life fan's job offer after releasing a popular mod. "Transmissions: Element 120 is a "short single-player" Half-life 2 mod that equips players with a new kind of gravity gun that enables them to leap over buildings and fall from great distances without suffering damage. Taking place after the events of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, it challenges players to figure out where they are and why they've been sent there. On the technical side, it boasts custom levels, code, models, sounds, and a number of upgrades to the Source Engine, including enhanced dynamic lighting, improved support for complex structures, and better AI. And it was all created by one guy."
    • Los Angeles magazine instead suggested that fan films could be personal vehicles. "Fantasy author and captain’s hat aficionado, George R.R. Martin, famously hates fan-fiction based on his Game of Thrones universe, but it’s an uphill battle for Martin, judging by the popularity of his characters amongst online amateur writers with a penchant for sword fights, dragons, and magic. And it’s not just the literary kind Martin has to worry about. Now, fan made videos that either recreate scenes from certain episodes (“The Red Wedding” is a favorite) or spin-offs that feature new characters and plot lines but are still set in the world of Westeros are popping up on YouTube. Some are predictably terrible and a lot like Jack Black and Mos Def’s attempts at recreating their favorite movies in Be Kind Rewind but others are downright genius."
    • There are certainly more commercial projects that are creating spaces for readers to join in with their own contributions. But publishers are also on the lookout for anything that's getting popular. Kidscreen reported on HarperCollins offering a contract to a fanfic writer for his Minecraft series "that’s been making the rounds in middle schools across the US. Wolfe wrote at the first part of the trilogy at age 16 and then self-published it on Amazon.com in January, 2014."
    • Meanwhile Supernatural actors Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr. are creating a show based on their convention appearances. The "crowd-funded show called Kings Of Con — a fictional series that follows an exaggerated version of Rob and Richard...will follow their experiences during their 15 annual international cons, in which the fans aren't the only crazy ones — but the cast is as well."

    Whether projects about fans or projects by fans, is everyone going commercial? Write about those events in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • Events Calendar for April

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on mercredi, 1 April 2015 - 1:26pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of April! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Eastercon: Dysprosium. Held every Easter weekend since 1955, Eastercon is also known as the British National Science Fiction Convention. This year's event is April 3-6 in London, England. Guests of honor are Jim Butcher (Dresden Files author), author and filker Seanan McGuire, steampunk artist Herr Döktor (Ian Crichton), and longtime fandom contributor Caroline Mullan. The event also includes the Dalekdrome, in which competitors first making over a remote-controlled Dalek and then running it through an obstacle course.
    • It's the second run of the Hobbit Big Bang, with artist claims opening April 4. Crossovers and AUs are allowed, but stories should focus on The Hobbit (books, films, or RPF). Posting runs from May 10-24. (Share your experience with big bangs on Fanlore.)
    • Nullus Anxietas V, April 10-12 in Sydney, Australia, is a fan-run convention for fans of the Discworld novels and other works by Sir Terry Pratchett. The program has several events that appear each time such as the Gala Dinner, "Maskerade," Charity Auction, Guest of Honour Interview, and "Terry's Bedtime Stories." The conventions regularly feature large attendee-run groups that have been known variously as Guilds and Sects. There are also smaller events such as interviews, games and competitions, guest klatches, and other activities.
    • Star Wars Celebration is an event for all ages. The celebrations began in 1999 and have been held all over the world! The con, April 16-19 in Anaheim, California, contains exhibits, an interactive show floor, screenings, merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, and autograph sessions. Costuming workshops, academic discussions, behind-the-scenes insights, fan films, and sneak peeks at the future of Star Wars are all elements of Celebration as well. (Find fan experiences with Star Wars Celebration on Fanlore.)
    • For 30 years, Studio Ghibli has produced some of Japan's most popular and profitable films, and yet, beyond the work of famous film director Hayao Miyazaki, many of Studio Ghibli's achievements remain unknown outside of Japan. Spirited Discussions: Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli is a one-day conference, the first of its kind, and aims to investigate the meanings of Studio Ghibli, and its significance to Japanese and global culture. It is April 18 in Cardiff, Wales.
    • There are several roles to play in After Camlann: A Big Bang Challenge for BBC's Merlin, and all signups are open now--for writers, artists, betas, and "cheerleaders." The writer signup deadline is April 20, artists should sign up by May 30, and posting will take place in August.
    • Figments & Filaments, April 24-26 in Kansas City, Kansas, is a celebration of "costuming & cosplay in all of its various genres and applications."
    • Interested in historical RPF? History Fest, a first-ever prompt fest for "fanworks about historical figures," is accepting prompt fills through April 30. Fills can be fanfic, fanart, or mixes, and there is no required minimum level of historical significance. (Learn more about RPF on Fanlore.)
    • Free Comic Book Day 2015 will take place Saturday, May 2. This is expected to be the largest FCBD ever, with over 5.6 million comics given away to visitors at 2,100 participating comic shops.
    • Shatterdome Seattle, May 3 in Seattle, Washington, is the only Pacific Rim fan convention on the Pacific Rim. It is a one-day event featuring a private showing of the movie, cosplay and trivia contests, and panel discussions. The convention is for fans by fans. Go Pacific Rim on the Pacific Rim! (Discover more about Pacific Rim fandom on Fanlore.)

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The Third Annual Fandom and Neomedia Studies (FANS) Conference, in Dallas, Texas, in June, is issuing a call for papers on all aspects of being a fan. Abstracts are due April 30.
    • The Fans, Videogames, and History anthology's editors invite proposals for chapters addressing historicising game fandom; fan contributions to game history; and methodological reflections on studying historic game fandom. The deadline is April 30.
    • Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media invites papers that will interrogate the film adaptation of the 50 Shades of Grey novel series from "a plethora of new perspectives including industry, text, and reception analysis." Topics may include fans and fanfiction; kink, BDSM and sexual politics; and social networking and the blogosphere. Papers are due April 30.

    Help out a researcher!

    This month we have received a request for research participation from Jean Drzyzgula at St. Mary's College of Maryland. As part of her thesis for an undergraduate degree, she is conducting research on *fandom and identity exploration* under the oversight of Dr. Iris Ford.

    The purpose of this research study is threefold: to understand the role participation in media fandoms has on the development of personal identities for young MOGAI (LGBT, Queer) people; to understand the extent to which participation in media fandoms has impacted participants’ identities; and to understand how these trends impact individuals participating in them.

    Note that survey participants must be at least 18 years of age. You can find the survey online; a consent agreement is included on the main page.

    Contact information is jadrzyzgula [at] smcm [dot] edu and Icford [at] smcm [dot] edu.

    The final paper and any future works will be shared with the community, and some limited portions of the data set collected may be available depending on if it is judged to not impact confidentiality (and with advisor approval).

    If you have requests for research participation, please view our policy for inclusion at our website.


    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

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